Mario Lemina was substituted against Bournemouth last weekend with a knee injury but the midfielder is expected to be fit. Southampton are likely to be at full strength as they seek a first Premier League home win of the season.
Newcastle are bolstered by the return of forward Salomon Rondon and defender Ciaran Clark, who have both overcome thigh problems. Florian Lejeune remains a long-term absentee with a knee injury.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
@SimonBrotherton: This is not the most attractive match of the weekend on paper, but no less important for that. Both will see this as an opportunity to collect much-needed points. Rock bottom Newcastle haven’t won a game yet, while Southampton just can’t seem to find the back of the net.
They cancelled out Bournemouth last week but haven’t scored in four league matches, a run going back to the middle of September.
Newcastle slumped to the bottom of the table following last week’s 1-0 defeat by Brighton at St James’ Park. They became only the fourth side in Premier League history to lose their first five home games of a season and the other 3 were relegated.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Southampton manager Mark Hughes: “Our emotions are based on frustrations in terms of what we feel we should have had on the board in terms of points. “We feel we are a decent side in this league and it is up to us to make sure we get the points on the board which we feel our performances deserve.
“It will be a long process, but we have good signs and a good group who are working hard together. When you have got that, then you always have a chance.”
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez: “To be in the bottom three is always bad news. But we finished well last year. I have hope and belief we will adapt and change things.
“We are very close to the first win – and that first win will change everything. “We know that we have to do better than three teams this season. That is what we have to focus on. I am confident we will win this game against Southampton.”
Because Newcastle have sunk so low in recent weeks, I see this game as their turn to win. The Magpies had plenty of chances against Brighton last weekend, with 27 shots at goal, but they could not take any of them.
If they keep doing that, the goals will come – and so will their first win of the season.
- Southampton’s only defeat in their previous 24 home league matches against Newcastle came in September 2004 (W16, D7).
- Southampton have won 15 Premier League games versus Newcastle, more than against any other opponent.
- Newcastle beat Saints 3-0 in March but haven’t won consecutive league meetings since the 2004-2005 season.
- Saints have failed to score in four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October 2004. The only time they have gone five matches in a row without scoring in the division was in April 2001.
- They have only managed 45 goals in their past 53 league matches – and scored just once before half-time this season.
- Southampton could equal their top-flight record of five home games without a win from the beginning of a season, set in 2001.
- They have won only three and lost nine of 17 league games under Mark Hughes. His 0.82 points-per-game ratio is the second worst in Southampton’s Premier League history, behind Steve Wigley’s 0.69.
- Hughes has won just one of his 13 Premier League meetings with Rafael Benitez (D6, L6), losing both games against Newcastle last season when he was manager of Stoke City.
- Danny Ings has scored four goals in eight appearances for Southampton, accounting for half of the team’s goals in all competitions this season.
- Newcastle have set their worst record after nine games of a top-flight campaign, with two goalless draws and seven defeats.
- They failed to win any of their opening 10 fixtures in 1898-99 but earned four points from draws.
- Newcastle are the first team since 1930 to have played the first nine games of a top-flight season without a victory or score draw.
- Nine of the previous 14 teams to have gone winless in their opening nine games of a Premier League season were relegated.
- The Magpies’ victory over Chelsea on the final day of last season is their solitary triumph in 14 league matches (D2, L11).
- Newcastle attempted 27 shots in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat against Brighton – their most in a Premier League game without scoring since February 2014.
Source: BBC News